A new skills programme to help and support women to find jobs in digital roles has been announced.
The West of England Combined Authority has secured £238,000 funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) for the new Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training (WIDJET) programme.
Bath College; digital training businesses Mayden Academy and Boomsatsuma; Knowle West Media Centre and the Dot Project will all be involved in delivering activities and training starting almost immediately and running until the summer of 2019.
WIDJET will work with women across the region, providing digital skills and training from entry-level taster sessions through to high-level industry specified courses. Participants can take part in a range of skills courses, training or seminars designed directly with business needs in mind, with the aim of them securing jobs in digital roles.
Minister for Digital, Margot James said: “I am thrilled to announce that the West of England Combined Authority was one of our Digital Skills Innovation Fund winners. Its fantastic work with Bath College, Mayden Academy, Boomsatsuma, Knowle West Media Centre and the Dot Project will change lives.
“Women are underrepresented in tech roles and this funding aims to help develop a more gender diverse workforce because it is not only the right thing to do but also makes business sense.”
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “This is fantastic news and supports one of my key ambitions of improving job opportunities across the region. I want to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or personal circumstances, can access support to develop workplace skills so that they can fulfil their potential. Digital and tech is an important part of the West of England’s economy, and businesses have a particular need for skilled employees now, and this demand is expected to grow in future.
“Women are currently under-represented in digital roles and this new project will seek to tackle this by engaging with a wide group of women in communities, with the aim of moving us towards more representative and inclusive employment in digital roles across the region. This could include roles in virtual reality, VFX design or software development.”
Each partner organisation already has their own strong networks that they will use to raise awareness of the project, which aims to improve the skills and experience of at least 350 women.